Many immigrants want to live in a community and as such many want their close relatives to come to the United States to live close to them. Among those relatives are brothers and sisters. The United States recognize this fact and has set up a way to bring your siblings. Note that only US citizens can file for their brothers and sisters (siblings). While for most, our brothers and sisters are close to our heart, the USCIS still does not consider the brothers and sisters as immediate relatives.  Therefore, unlike parents petitions, the petitions for brothers and sisters take longer time to process.

STEP 1 – File A Form I-130 Petition – Petition for Alien Relative 

For citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States to establish the relationship to certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States. This form needs to be filed just like for a parents petition

STEP 2 – Wait for the Approval of the Form I-130 and Proceed to the National Visa Center.

Once the Form I130 is approved usually from 2 to 5 years,  you will probably have to wait again until the visa bulletin dates for this category becomes current so that the priority date indicated on the page becomes current.  You can follow the Visa Bulletin on this link. Check the category Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

STEP 3 – Once the priority date becomes current, after the National Visa Center, the case will be referred to the U.S. Embassy or US Consulate.

 The case will be referred to the National Visa Center (NVC), there you will need to file for the affidavit of support, the DS forms and probably a bunch of other forms.  Note that you will need to watch for children who ages out passing the age of 21 when the petition becomes current. Sometimes, you can benefit from the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). This will protect some children and allow them to come to the United States. We recommend talking to us to analyze such cases.

Once the paperwork from the NVC is completed and the dates are current, an interview will be scheduled and conducted.  If satisfactory, the siblings  petition will be approved and finalized and an immigrant visa will be issued.

STEP 4 – Use the Immigrant  Visa and come to the United States

Once the immigrant visa is issued, we recommend you come to the United States before the visa is expired.  Failure to do so might result in having to start the process again.  However under specific extraordinary conditions, you might be able to reschedule or change the visa entering dates.

STEP 5 – Once you enter the United States wait for your permanent residence card

After you enter the United States, a permanent resident card (also know as a green card) will be mailed to your US address.  In case you do not receive it, make sure you contact the USCIS.

FOR SIBLINGS WHO ARE ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES.

If your  brother or sister is already in the United States and have maintained status while they entered through a valid visa such as a student F1 visa, the procedure is different because you can request for an adjustment of status. This can only be requested if the dates on the Visa Bulletin is current and the sibling has maintained status such as on an H1B or student visa. This status has be present at the time of the filing of the Adjustment of Status. Note that there is an exception to the rule of the maintaining of status if your brother or sister can benefit form the Life Act INA 245(i).

STEP 1 –  Form 1-485 Adjustment of Status.

If the dates are current after the Form I-130 approval, you are eligible to file for the adjustment of status form I-485.  Make sure you look at the forms closely including filing the other forms to be filed concurrently such as the forms I-864, I-693, G-325A, I-765 and I-131.  Note that based on the entry of your  sibling, either legally or without inspection (EWI) there might be other forms to fill.  If your siblings  entered illegally (EWI) or through certain specific visas such as certain C visas or overstayed and has a petition filed before April 30, 2001.  Then you need to go to step 2.

STEP 2 – File I-485 Supplement Form in case your parent needs to benefit from INA 245(i)

These supplements need to be filed and special penalty fees need to be paid to be successful in the process. Note that there are two kinds of INA 245(i) applications one where a petition was filed before 1998 and one before April 30, 2001.  Kindly contact us to analyze the difference.

Note that the above is just a short version how to file for your  siblings’ petition.  The help of a professional, a real lawyer, can actually make a difference in the case.  In fact, there might be other issues involved which this article does not cover.  Please call our office to give you further guidance or any on the matter. Our phone 510 742 5887 and our email info@peerallylaw.com.